The 12th Annual Seattle-Kobe Female Jazz Vocalist Audition was held on March 28th, 2016 at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley.
There were 4 finalists in the High School Vocalist section, and 6 finalists in the Adult Vocalist section. Kirstina Buno claimed victory in the High School Vocalist section with her beautiful singing voice, and Adult Vocalist section winner LaVon Haridison amazed the audience with her performance. The two winners will be performing as guests in the Kobe Jazz Vocal Queen Contest held in Shinkaichi, Kobe on May 7th.
The Jazz Vocalist Audition also hosted several past winners, and we were able to listen in on their jam session as well as listen to their experiences in Kobe.
We would like to thank the new President of the Seattle Kobe Sister City Association, Benjamin Erickson, as well as previous President Karin Zaugg. They were a great help in the management and planning of this event, and we would not have been able to host this event without their help.
The event was preceded by welcome remarks from Consul Ryutaro Konishi, from the Consulate General of Japan, as well as the Kobe Trade Information Office Director Tetsuya Sometani. The KTIO Director was also able to read a letter from Kobe Mayor Kizo Hisamoto, celebrating the event and the ties between Seattle and Kobe.
３月２８日 Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley で第１２回女性ジャズボーカリスト オーディション開催。
この大会の運営サポートしていただいているSeattle Kobe Sister City Associationの新会長Benjamin Ericksonさんと前会長のKarin Zauggさんが見事な掛け合いでKobeを盛り上げていただきました。感謝！
We have moved! Due to our building undergoing some reorganization, the KTIO/HBCC offices have moved from the 23rd floor to Suite 4310 on the 43rd floor in the Safeco Plaza building. We now have a great view of Mt. Rainier and Safeco field, so please drop by if you get a chance.
The Consulate General’s Official Residence in Seattle hosted a reception on December 10th in honor of the Japanese Emperor’s birthday. Many local officials and those with ties to Japan were in attendance. Kobe Trade Information Office was honored to attend alongside Hyogo Business & Culture Center. From our booth in the residence, we were able to hand out guides to the city of Kobe and introduce some local products to the attendees.
In particular we were asked about the Fukuju sake served for the toast, which is brewed by the Kobe Shu-Shin-Kan breweries in the Nada region of Kobe city. The sake had also been served during the dinner and reception for the Japanese scientist who won the Nobel Prize in 2012.
During the ceremony, Consul General Masahiro Omura presented KING 5 news anchor Ms. Lori Matsukawa with the Foreign Minister’s Commendation and former Washington Secretary of State Mr. Ralph Munro with the Foreign Minister’s Certificate of Gratitude.
Along with being a news anchor for King 5 TV, Ms. Lori Matsukawa is a co-founder and leader of the Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington, and works to promote Japanese language education and the preservation of Nikkei history.
The former Washington Secretary of State Ralph Munro has contributed greatly to Japan-U.S. relations, including the establishment of the Hyogo Business and Culture Center. His promotion of the sister relationship between Washington State and Hyogo Prefecture, alongside the development of many connections between Japanese officials and leaders, serves to bring Japan and the U.S. closer to this day.
In late August, KTIO and a delegation of 16 participants from Japan traveled to Silicon Valley in California. Among these 16 participants were entrepreneurs and students, who arrived in Silicon Valley with the goal of expanding their knowledge and expertise on business development, entrepreneurial growth, and successful methods for pitching ideas. From 8/22 through 8/27, KTIO and the team at San Francisco’s 500 Startups worked with these participants to develop entrepreneurial tools for success in business and technological fields.
Participants from Japan traveled throughout Silicon Valley, visiting numerous organizations and startups such as Google, ChatWork, Pinterest, Yahoo!, Apple, Treasure Data and Twitter. After exploring Silicon Valley’s unique characteristics and entrepreneurial history, these participants were given the opportunity to present a pitch to Zafer Younis and Diana Moldavsky, Venture Partners at 500 Startups. Five participants were chosen to proceed into a “championship round” of pitch presentations.
By the end of the week presenter Mami Takesada was chosen as the winner. All participants who presented were counseled and given advice by Zafer Younis and Diana Moldavsky, who regularly support international entrepreneurs through 500 Startups.
KTIO would like to give Ms. Takesada our warm congratulations, and extend thanks to 500 Startups for its continued support of entrepreneurial exchange between Kobe, the United States, and Japan.
The last weekend of July has proven to be an eventful one for KTIO. On Friday, July 24th, our office gathered for a barbecue with the Seattle-Kobe Sister City Association to celebrate the Kobe Seafair Ambassador, Ms. Akane Kotani.
Earlier in the afternoon on Friday, July 24th, both KTIO and the Hyogo Business & Cultural Center attended a special Sendoff Reception for new members of the JET Program leaving to teach English and support local government throughout Japan. The reception was held at the residence of Seattle’s Consulate General of Japan, Mr. Masahiro Omura. A total of 64 new JET hirees will be leaving for Japan; five of the 64 will travel to Hyogo Prefecture, and two of those five will travel to Kobe. Of the JET hirees traveling to Kobe, they plan to work with both Hazetani Junior High School and Sakuranomiya Junior High School.
Ms. Akane Kotani arrived in Seattle on Thursday, July 23rd to participate as a representative of Kobe in Seattle’s annual Seafair Torchlight Parade. The Seafair Torchlight Parade heralds the beginning of Seattle’s Seafair festival, and is a renowned event where Seattle citizens, organizations, and businesses may celebrate both Seafair and the spirit of Seattle.
Below are photos of the Seafair Torchlight Parade on Saturday, July 25th:
Seattle’s Seafair weekend begins on Friday, July 31st, and continues until Sunday, August 2nd.